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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

ISO                                       THE MATHUBJt MUHICIPALITY..
great centre of iiie commerce of Upper India. As yet, thelibe labours rader Tery
serioas disadYaotages from being so very sboit and from the necessity of
breaking bulk at the little wayside station of Mendn, the Hathras Road junc-
tion. Consequently, traders wbo bave goods to despatch to Hathras find it
cheaper and more expeditions to send them all the way by road, rather tban
to hire carts to take them over the pontoon bridge and then unlade them at
the station and wait hours, or it may be days, before a truck is available to
carry them on. Thus ihe goods traffic is very small, and it is only the passen-
gers who make the line pay. These are mostly pilgrims, who rather prefer to
loiter on the way and do not object to spending two hours and fifty minutes
in travelling a distance of 2&J miles. As the train runs along the side of the
road, there are daily opportunities for challenging it ta a race, and it must be
a very indifferent country pony which does not succeed in beating it.
The Mnnicipality'has a population of 55,763, of whom 10,006 are Muhara-
inadans. The arm"«l income is a little under Rs. 50j(KK>; derived, in- the absence
of any special trade, almost exclusively from an octroi tax on articles of food,
the consumption of which is naturally very large and out of all proportion to the
resident population, in consequence of the frequent influx of huge troops of pil-
grims. The celebrity among natives of the Mathur& perd, a particular kind of
sweetment, also contributes to the same result* Besides the permanent main-
tenance of a large police and conservancy establishment, the entire cost of pav-
ing the city streets has been defrayed out of municipal funds, and a fixed pro-
portion is anually allotted for the sapport of different educational establish-
ments.
The High School, a large hall in a very un-Oriental style of architecture,
was opened by Sir William Muir on the 21st January, 1870. It was
erected at a cost of Bs. 13,000, of which sum Rs. 2,000 were collected by
voluntary subscription, Rs. 3,000 were voted by the municipality, and the
bsdenee of Bs. 8,000 granted by Government.* The City Dispensary, imme-
diately opposite the Kans-ka-tfla, and adjoining the Munsifs Court, has
accommodation for 20 In-door patients ; there is an ordinary attendance per
* Tfce Scl»ol# Gooxt-hooae, and Protestant Church are—^fortunately,, as I think—the oaly local
bqildingft of ®»y importance, in the cooitniction of which the Public Works Department has bad
any hand. 1 ha.Ye nevef been able to imderstand why & large and costly staff of European engi-
aeerm atamld toe kept op at •!!» except for soch Imperial raidertaklngs as Railways, Military Boads
and Caamla. The fina* bttlldiags in the conmfery date from before onr amTa! in it, and the descend-
ants of the men who designed aisd executed them are stiE employed by the natives tliemselres for
theft fc«aples» taakm, psiacw, »nd mosquea. If the GoYemmaifc ulilised the sanse i^emcy, there
a greai wring in co®i «d aa equal gain in artistic rewit.